Lindey’s, Columbus, 4/27/23

building – 169 E Beck St, Columbus, OH 43206

Lindey’s is owned by Sue Doody who opened it in 1981 in the German Village neighborhood.  Now two of her sons are involved and both have found careers in the restaurant industry.   It’s a huge place serving American cuisine in a white tablecloth setting.  There are several dining rooms as well as private dining rooms in the 2-story corner building.  The 1884 building housed another restaurant prior to but earlier served as a grocery, a saloon, flower shop and hardware store.  Doody named the restaurant after the linden trees that used to grow on the property.  The small tables are on carpet with the walls covered with drawings and music somewhere in the background.  The entrance room had a long bar and tables but we were in the next room with windows to the street adding a bit more light into the room.  Service was friendly but jumbled and the food was mixed. Perhaps we should have ordered the daily special. Continue reading

Katalina’s, Columbus, 4/27/23

building – 1105 Pennsylvania Ave, Columbus, OH 

Katalina’s is “The Little Cafe with Lots of Local Goodness.”   Housed in a 100-year old gas station it is covered in grafitti art and serves breakfast, lunch and brunch.  The small corner building has a couple inside tables and some stools at a counter but most of the seating is outside on the pet-friendly patio.  (Someone actually had their leash-trained cat sitting on the planter box next to their table).  There are a couple of parking spaces right next to the building and a lot behind it.  Music was piped out onto the patio which is where we sat after ordering at the counter inside.  The menu hangs on a chalkboard above but they also have printed ones.  The food was brought to the table when ready.  I was intrigued by a number of things on their menu but the counter person said they are famous for their Pancake Balls which are trademarked and their breakfast tacos, so we got those two things.  Super friendly staff and a funky feel make this a place I suggest you try.  Who could resist a pancake ball? Continue reading

The Refectory Restaurant, Columbus, 4/26/23

exterior at night – 1092 Bethel Rd, Columbus, OH 43220

The Refectory has a long storied past with buildings from the 1840s and 1850s which were combined to make it.  The current dining area is in the 1853 church that was sided with walnut and served as the main building for a church, which unfortunately was only 75 yards away from some noisy railroad tracks.   When the church bought 2 school buildings 200 yards away the physical church was moved to be adjoined with them around 1918.  In 1954 a brick school was added to the structure but by 1969 the congregation was larger than the buildings could accommodate so they moved. In 1971 the original church was turned into The Olde Church-House Restaurant and in 1981 the building became The Refectory Restaurant, which is the name of the dining hall in a convent/monastery.  The original schoolhouse became the Lounge and Bistro dining area and the church housed the Dining Room with its original hand-hewn beams and exposed wooden roof structure.  Kamal Boulos, the present owner, has worked in the building for almost 50 years.  He brought in Chef Richard Blondin from Lyon, France to run the kitchen, which he still does.  Over the years they have greatly expanded the wine cellar to over 700 selections.  Music was in the background, lights were lowered and the white cloth-covered tables are surrounded by lots of stained glass.  They offer a 5-course Chef’s Tasting that also has a vegetarian option in addition to an a la carte menu.  We tried the tasting with our own wines and the pacing was fairly quick with good portion control.  The food was mixed with too many additions of microgreens, dots and smears of sauces.  It is definitely an elegant setting but the flavor profile and repetition made me wonder if the chef really was in the kitchen. Continue reading

Wario’s Beef and Pork, Columbus, 4/26/23

building – 111 W Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH

Wario’s Beef and Pork was created by Chef Stephan Madias, who wanted to bring a chef-driven sandwich shop to Columbus.  He wanted customers to feel like family and to serve them quality food that is responsibly sourced and made from scratch.  Their signature semolina roll is baked and delivered to the shop daily from Matija Breads and he makes, cures and smokes the other ingredients in-house.  They opened in late fall of 2020 as a little sandwich window that quickly became a new city food spot.  Named for a character in Nintendo’s Mario Brothers video game series, they are open Wed. through Sun. and have a few tables inside and a large patio outside.  A really friendly spot, we immediately struck up a conversation with one of their regulars and their counter person was also friendly and helpful.  The sandwiches are huge and excellent.  I would eat there often if I lived nearby. Continue reading